In this final week of my series, I wanted to talk about what companies are doing for their employees.  Yes, we know a few already—meals, bocce ball, corn hole and napping pods all across Silicon Valley.  But what about across the U.S.?  For this I turned to one of our clients and a leader in office space design—SmithGroup.  Below is a link to their spot-on report “Redefining the High Performing Workplace.”  They convened 18 companies across industries and have some great feedback.  I want to focus on the Employee Experience.

  • Given the historic lows in unemployment, companies are (finally) investing more than ever in their employees. When you have this kind of investment, keeping great employees is mandatory.  A natural progression is taking a look at the day-to-day experience of their team.  What are their interactions, are they able to get their work done well, what tools do they have at their fingertips, etc.  Thinking about the employee and making it easy to do great work is on all companies’ minds.
  • All of the above is wrapped in the company culture – what are we doing to advance and enhance our culture is a second question companies are asking. Culture is not a slogan, it’s people and processes, and yes how our space is designed.
  • Great design is the manifestation of our culture.  It allows us to see, touch and know what we are and who we are.  These are lofty words and very hard to put into real life.  That is why having a great company like SmithGroup design your space is a must.  What does space look like for this decade?
    • Areas for collaborating—this will continue.
    • Quiet, heads down space—Yes, this is coming back.  More private offices than the last decade.
    • As I talked about earlier in the series, ongoing technology advancement designed into the layout is now a focus.
    • Healthy work-spaces – more to come on this but in general, we are investing in our team, they need to be ready to perform.  Spending 40-60 hours a week in our offices means the space needs to be a healthy place to work both physically and mentally.

This series is just the start of our 2020 narratives.  We endeavor to bring you to the edge of commercial office space thought, shedding light on disruption in some 2020 original content.  I have been working with our clients on answering the questions I get asked most often.  Here’s to a great decade.


Click here to read the whole report.